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Does anyone use modular with an EWI?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author Does anyone use modular with an EWI?
vgermuse
Ahhhhh...that would be cool indeed. I believe the earliest version when Nyle Steiner was building them did have some cv out -- I'll check.
vgermuse
ronaldroy wrote:
Oh I thought you might be tapping the CV directly off the EVI1000 somehow without using the MIDI out of the EWV2000 module.


Ah...that would be cool. CV outs were available on the original that Crumar produced, Akai took that feature away.

http://www.synthmuseum.com/stp/stpevi01.html



Cheers
stevebryson
Here's a proof-of-concept improv controlling a Paia 9700s with the much-less-expenive EWI USB. Breath is mapped to the MIDI mod wheel output, which the Paia converts into a CV. The Paia required a special cable with a built-in low-pass filter to smooth out the 8-bit D/A converter.

In this piece the EWI is controlling the Paia, Absynth and a sampled shakuhachi in Kontakt, all modified to respond to the EWI breath pressure.
https://soundcloud.com/stevepurring/floatingclouds

Here's a less nice rendition of a Bach melody with the EWI playing the Paia. This one is all Paia.
https://soundcloud.com/stevepurring/bachair-paiaandewi

I'm currently building a mid-size MOTM system, and expect to do a lot more interesting things with it and the EWI.
vgermuse
Lovely! thumbs up
vgermuse
OK...this thread in bringing back good memories so here is a little collection of EVI excepts from my past. Much from the 80’s and some from 2000’s. A lot of looped EVI in real time, some live performances of drum and vocal samples and a few music cues for theater. Enjoy!

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/194856660" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

p.s. here is a list of the synths used on each excerpt:
00:00 Akai EWV-2000
01:30 Moog Voyager
02:34 Moog Voyager
03:47 Moog Voyager
04:54 Korg Wavestation
06:34 Kontakt via Ableton Live
09:20 Akai EWV-2000
11:08 Akai EWV-2000
12:45 Akai EWV-2000
Vsyevolod
Back in 2004 I was involved in an ongoing improvisational project with some friends. Here are a few examples of the pieces that were created out of these sessions. Most of them involve keyboard and EWI with plenty of processing going on. All are 'live' with no overdubs. Sometimes the difference between EWI and keyboard is obscured, intentionally so.

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/22%20First% 20Snow.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Cassini%20Division/Firedancing. mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Cassini%20Division/Seven%20Rema ining%20Years.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/12%20Bright %20Eyes.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/11%20Solari s.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/13%20Solari s%20Two.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/23%20Venus. mp3



The following pieces are two EWI's only. Yamaha VL70m and Emu XL7 as sound modules.

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/18%20Splash %20of%20Light.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/20%20Exit.m p3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/19%20River% 20Nye.mp3


And here's a unique session that features 3 live EWI players.

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Cassini%20Division/Branch%20of% 20Folly.mp3


Some of these pieces are rather long, others mercifully short. One of these days I'll get a SoundCloud account going and select the best pieces to post. If anyone has specific questions about what is making what sound and how, I'll do my best to go through my notes and grey matter.

Cheers,

Stephen




.
tito_tunes
Nice sounds everybody! I got an MS-20 mini yesterday and had a lot of fun patching it for breath control. Here's the results

[s]https://soundcloud.com/titotunes/messing-with-ms-20-ewi[/s]

Did a fuller post over here:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=133998
vgermuse
tito_tunes wrote:
Nice sounds everybody! I got an MS-20 mini yesterday and had a lot of fun patching it for breath control.
Did a fuller post over here:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=133998


Sweet! Sounds like a great combo! Thanks for sharing. w00t
el90
Sorry for reviving a relatively old thread. I am putting together a eurorack system and would like to use my Akai EWI 5000 as a controller.

To this end, I experimented today with a very basic arrangement involving a Vermona QMI2 midi-cv converter and an Intellijel Rubicon oscillator and uVCA. My first attempts have revealed some fairly basic speed bumps. I would really appreciate any help with them:

(1) Capturing varying breath pressure

I cannot get any of the Vermona QMI2 outputs to capture varying breath pressure over the course of a single note. Whichever MIDI CC numbers I assign to the outputs of the QMI2, the best I can do is get my breath pressure at the start of each new note to determine the volume of that note for its entire duration (therefore ignoring any subsequent changes in breath pressure until a new note is played). Has anyone found a way to use the QMI2 (or any other MIDI-CV converter) more effectively, and if so, how?

(2) Capturing other forms of expressivity

Ultimately, I am aiming to put together a patch that allows for all of the following MIDI outputs from the EWI to be captured and put into effect on the modular system:

(1) breath sensor (i.e. velocity);
(2) note keys (i.e. pitch);
(3) glide plate (for portamento);
(4) thumb plates (for pitch bend); and
(5) bite sensor (for vibrato).

Obviously this will require more modules than my current very basic setup. Would anyone who has managed to capture some or all of this expression be willing to share an outline of how so?

(3) Pitch range

From the QMI2 manual, it seems the voltage range that can be produced by the 1v/oct output on the QMI2 is 0-5V. This produces a pitch range of 5 octaves, whereas the EWI has fingerings for 8 octaves. So, by putting the EWI through the QMI2, I lose three octaves of range. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, is there a workaround, or does anyone know of a MIDI-CV converter with a higher voltage output range?
stevebryson
el90 wrote:
Sorry for reviving a relatively old thread. I am putting together a eurorack system and would like to use my Akai EWI 5000 as a controller.

To this end, I experimented today with a very basic arrangement involving a Vermona QMI2 midi-cv converter and an Intellijel Rubicon oscillator and uVCA. My first attempts have revealed some fairly basic speed bumps. I would really appreciate any help with them:

(1) Capturing varying breath pressure

I cannot get any of the Vermona QMI2 outputs to capture varying breath pressure over the course of a single note. Whichever MIDI CC numbers I assign to the outputs of the QMI2, the best I can do is get my breath pressure at the start of each new note to determine the volume of that note for its entire duration (therefore ignoring any subsequent changes in breath pressure until a new note is played). Has anyone found a way to use the QMI2 (or any other MIDI-CV converter) more effectively, and if so, how?

(2) Capturing other forms of expressivity

Ultimately, I am aiming to put together a patch that allows for all of the following MIDI outputs from the EWI to be captured and put into effect on the modular system:

(1) breath sensor (i.e. velocity);
(2) note keys (i.e. pitch);
(3) glide plate (for portamento);
(4) thumb plates (for pitch bend); and
(5) bite sensor (for vibrato).

Obviously this will require more modules than my current very basic setup. Would anyone who has managed to capture some or all of this expression be willing to share an outline of how so?

(3) Pitch range

From the QMI2 manual, it seems the voltage range that can be produced by the 1v/oct output on the QMI2 is 0-5V. This produces a pitch range of 5 octaves, whereas the EWI has fingerings for 8 octaves. So, by putting the EWI through the QMI2, I lose three octaves of range. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, is there a workaround, or does anyone know of a MIDI-CV converter with a higher voltage output range?


I've had no trouble at all getting very expressive control of my modular with my EWI USB via an Encore Expressionist (and earlier with a Paia 9700s). For example, the lead voice that comes in at 0:58 in https://soundcloud.com/stevepurring/quantizedchaos2.

Generally, the Encore Expressionist is a fantastic MIDI-to-CV device that has met all my needs, including integration with a Roli Rise. It has plenty of voltage range. It's expensive but worth every penny.

Are you reading a continuous control parameter to get breath? You say "breath sensor (i.e. velocity)" so I'm not sure. Velocity data is transmitted only once with the MIDI note on signal: it is not a continuous parameter. You need to use a continuous control parameter for breath. By default my EWI USB maps breath to channel pressure and breath control. I've changed channel pressure to mod wheel, which is convenient. You say you've tried various CC numbers, but have you monitored what is specifically coming out of your EWI and tried those CC numbers?

On my EWI USB the bite sensor is mapped to pitch bend by default, duplicating the thumb plates. That's essentially pitch bend and vibrato for free if your MIDI-CV converter senses pitch bend. I get vibrato by varying my bite. The bite sensor can also be mapped to a continuous control parameter, though I've not played with that.

I hope that helps. I wish my EWI USB had a glide plate!
el90
That's very helpful, thanks so much. Totally agreed on the velocity data vs continuous control: I tried both velocity and 'volume' (CC#7) with no luck on either. When I get chance, I will do some more investigating on which continuous control parameters are being used to communicate breath.

Any suggestions on software/methods for monitoring what CC information the EWI is generating would also be much appreciated.
stevebryson
el90 wrote:
That's very helpful, thanks so much. Totally agreed on the velocity data vs continuous control: I tried both velocity and 'volume' (CC#7) with no luck on either. When I get chance, I will do some more investigating on which continuous control parameters are being used to communicate breath.

Any suggestions on software/methods for monitoring what CC information the EWI is generating would also be much appreciated.

I'm on OS X and use the free and excellent MIDI monitor. https://www.snoize.com/MIDIMonitor/

I'm sure the equivalent is available for other OSs.

But if your EWI has the same defaults as mine you could just try CC#2 (breath controller). Channel pressure isn't really a CC# - it's more like note on data. It's also called aftertouch, if you can configure your MIDI to CV to respond to aftertouch. If you can configure your EWI like I can mine, maybe it's easier to set the breath output to mod wheel (CC#1).
el90
Great stuff! Setting breath output to mod wheel did the trick. Many thanks.
stevebryson
el90 wrote:
Great stuff! Setting breath output to mod wheel did the trick. Many thanks.

It's peanut butter jelly time! nanners Rockin' Banana! w00t w00t applause applause SlayerBadger!
ben_hex
Regarding the Vermona qMI I have a version 1 and use MIDI into it from an Akai EWI (not sure which model, my friend plays the EWI). But we get 1v/oct pitch and gate (as you'd expect from anything really) and I think it's CC7 'VOLUME' that's the breath pressure on the first CV output.

If you're getting the breath that holds per note that sounds like it would be velocity to me. Which can be useful for bigger patches too.

It could be 'AFTERTOUCH' setting no.6 for the CV2 output as well.

Pretty sure it's one of those. Hopefully you get it working as it's always fun.
el90
Thanks Ben hex for the info. Your videos with your friend on EWI are one of the things that inspired me to get into modular!

I picked up a Mutable Yarns last night, and it seems to me to have a number of advantages over the vermona qMI:

(1) Most importantly, the Yarns has sufficient voltage range on the 1V/octave output to capture the full eight octave range of the EWI. The Vermona only stretches to five octaves.

(2) The Yarns automatically picks up pitch bend information (which is sent from both the EWI bite sensor and the thumb plates), whereas the Vermona does not. That makes the Yarns much easier to use (for me at least) and makes it much closer to being 'plug and play' than the Vermona.

(3) The Yarns has a wider number of other features, such as providing a digital oscillator. I haven't used these yet, but it can't harm to have them.

(4) If it matters, the Yarns takes up half the space of the Vermona and I believe it is also cheaper.

One tip I have found out: I had to turn off the vibrato setting on the Yarns, otherwise the pitch it produces is unstable and annoyingly 'wobbly'.
ben_hex
el90 cheers for the info RE Yarns. I original got the qMI because it has double the output of Yarns across the four channels and also several clocks and reset all at once. For the EWI Yarns seems the better option potentially.

The main thing is getting the breath control out as that's where the expression and uniqueness comes into play with the wind instrument techniques.

I don't mind pitch bend as a separate thing really as it makes it quick to scale it using pitch to the 1v/oct on an oscillator and the pitch bend to the FM. Means I can really quickly adjust the pitch response for my friend David when we're playing around.

The internal square oscillator on Yarns should be good for some sounds and also good for layering with other sounds.

Looking forward to hearing how you get on with things and seeing / hearing anything you capture from playing around.
carlosnyb
Question re: the EWI USB -- can you take the usb directly to a modular usb to midi controller, or does it need to go to computer first?
stevebryson
carlosnyb wrote:
Question re: the EWI USB -- can you take the usb directly to a modular usb to midi controller, or does it need to go to computer first?

I'm almost certain the answer is: yes, the EWI USB is sending conventional MIDI signals and you can just plug it into a hardware synth or MIDI to CV module. That's the claim on http://www.ewiusb.com.

I couldn't test this directly because I don't have any MIDI hardware that accepts that kind of USB plug. But I plugged the EWI into my wife's laptop, which has never seen EWI software, and in MIDI monitor I see all the right MIDI events as I play the EWI. I even see my modified assignments for the breath control, which means you can configure the EWI as you like on the computer (via the configuration software) then plug it into your hardware and it will do what you want.
carlosnyb
The use-case mentioned on the site was into computer and then to a software synth or out the computer to midi hardware devices. I sent an email to the webmaster -- in hopes to confirm that yes it does 'just work' with the usb class-compliant midi out.
ben_hex
carlosnyb wrote:
The use-case mentioned on the site was into computer and then to a software synth or out the computer to midi hardware devices. I sent an email to the webmaster -- in hopes to confirm that yes it does 'just work' with the usb class-compliant midi out.


I'm pretty sure it's just USB midi and that it will work. Synthrotek MIDI to CV has USB input as do some of the Doepfer MIDI to CV units (if you're going eurorack). External units are good for saving rack space too.
stevebryson
carlosnyb wrote:
The use-case mentioned on the site was into computer and then to a software synth or out the computer to midi hardware devices. I sent an email to the webmaster -- in hopes to confirm that yes it does 'just work' with the usb class-compliant midi out.

I think the statement on the web page that "the EWI USB sends all it's information as "MIDI over USB"" is all you need to know. So long as your hardware can read MIDI from USB it should work.
glissant
el90 wrote:
Thanks Ben hex for the info. Your videos with your friend on EWI are one of the things that inspired me to get into modular!

I picked up a Mutable Yarns last night, and it seems to me to have a number of advantages over the vermona qMI:

(1) Most importantly, the Yarns has sufficient voltage range on the 1V/octave output to capture the full eight octave range of the EWI. The Vermona only stretches to five octaves.

(2) The Yarns automatically picks up pitch bend information (which is sent from both the EWI bite sensor and the thumb plates), whereas the Vermona does not. That makes the Yarns much easier to use (for me at least) and makes it much closer to being 'plug and play' than the Vermona.

(3) The Yarns has a wider number of other features, such as providing a digital oscillator. I haven't used these yet, but it can't harm to have them.

(4) If it matters, the Yarns takes up half the space of the Vermona and I believe it is also cheaper.

One tip I have found out: I had to turn off the vibrato setting on the Yarns, otherwise the pitch it produces is unstable and annoyingly 'wobbly'.


I'm using Yarns as an EWI->modular interface, but am finding that the breath CV output is very steppy. I've run it through a slew limiter to smooth it but makes things feel a little too laggy (duh). Any hints on this?
tito_tunes
Just recorded some stuff last night with my EWI3000.

It's an older analog model that I had modded for CV outs. This solves the steppy breath controller issue. I take the analog breath voltage directly from the horn, no lossy midi translation. I'm using the midi out into Yarns to get an in-tune V/OCT signal with vibrato, pitch bend and glide packed in.

In this recording I'm controlling a Mutable Braids. The breath voltage is going into Braids' timbre input and I have a foot pedal controlling Braids' color input. The braids is being fed into the EWI3000m ext input and being modulated by it's built in BCA (breath controlled amplifier). All sounds come from Braids with added delay from a DOD pedal, Malekko Spring reverb, and Ableton's looper.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/245419965" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
el90
glissant wrote:

I'm using Yarns as an EWI->modular interface, but am finding that the breath CV output is very steppy. I've run it through a slew limiter to smooth it but makes things feel a little too laggy (duh). Any hints on this?


Hmm, I hadn't noticed this issue with mine, but perhaps I need to listen more carefully! One general suggestion is that so far I have often found that where I have problems, I need to make adjustments on the EWI end of things rather than on the modular. I don't know what model EWI you have, but on the EWI5000 there are a lot of settings under the Br menu heading, including a number that deal with MIDI (eg what MIDI cc number is output, whether it is high or low res, etc). At a guess, I would suggest having a play with those settings on the EWI to see if any of them solve the problem. The EWI manual does a decent job of explaining the various menu headings and how to adjust the parameters within them.

Ps, Tito, very much enjoyed the track immediately above.
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